Yesterday was my first time at home with two kids all day. Cliff would be gone all day at work, and my postpartum doula was not scheduled to come help. I know this is not a big deal to a lot of people, but it is to me. The first time for everything is always scary.
I survived the day. Sort of.
First thing after breakfast, I packed up the kids and went to the Creekside Community Centre play gym. Just getting the two kids ready and into the car took me about 1/2 hour and I was sweating like a pig. But we’re off to a good start with finding free parking very close to the gym.
With all the background noise in the gym, I was hoping that Savanna would sleep through most of the play time after I fed her. It was not so. She was awake the entire 1 1/2 hour we were there. And in my haste to get out the door, I had forgotten to bring the baby carrier. That meant I was holding a baby with a wobbly head in one arm, pushing Joshua in a push car with the other arm, all the while trying to pull up my pants because the elastic in my maternity jeans is starting to fall apart. I totally looked like I got life figured out.
After the gym, we went for a short walk by the water so Joshua can check out boats and the big bird statutes in the plaza by the community centre. I would have to say the play gym trip was a success because Joshua had a good time, and my pants didn’t fall off.
We came home for lunch. Then it came time for what I dread the most–nap time. It’s not napping that I dreaded; it was the logistics of napping that I was afraid of.
You see, I always let Joshua nap with me or Cliff. So even though he sleeps on his own perfectly at night, he would have to nap with one of us to fall asleep. Now I’m stuck with having to lay down with Joshua and hope Savanna would stay quiet long enough for Joshua to fall asleep. So I laid down with Joshua, left Savanna on her own, and of course she starts crying and waking up Joshua. I told Joshua I had to go take care of Savanna, then he started to cry. I consoled him and promised him I’d come back. I went to check on Savanna and settled her down. She fell asleep. I came back to see Joshua, and put him to sleep. Just when I took a deep breath to enjoy the peace and quiet of having both kids asleep, Joshua woke up crying for some reason, waking up Savanna. This went on for 1 1/2 hour–the two of them taking turns waking each other up. I was starting to lose my mind.
I gave up the napping attempt. I told Joshua we’re going to play at the park. He said he didn’t want to play at the park. I said that’s too bad, we’re going to play at the park, because none of you are napping. Then he said, “I’m peeing.” Yeah, he was peeing, while laying in my bed!
That’s when I yelled.
I know you’re not supposed to yell, especially when you’re potting training your child. But I yelled. I felt lousy afterwards, but in the heat of the moment I just lost it.
I was exhausted. I was tired of changing sheets and friggin potty accidents. He was awake when this happened, so it’s not even like it was an “accident” when he is asleep. I raised my voice and asked him why he peed in my bed. He started to cry and scream. Savanna started to cry. I raised my voice even more, asking Joshua again why he peed in my bed. He screamed more. It was such a productive communication moment in our lives. Not.
I changed our sheets and Joshua’s clothes. I felt like the worst mother in the world for yelling at Joshua. I sat down with Joshua to apologize to him and ask for forgiveness. He said sorry for peeing in my bed. We hugged.
Then I packed up both kids and Sam and went to play at the park. Joshua was in the stroller, Savanna was in the baby carrier, and Sam was tangled somewhere between the stroller and my feet. After getting very dirty with digging in the sandpit, we went to Tisol to get some dog treats and bird seeds. I kept looking for signs how I’ve scarred my child with my yelling, but he was quite chatty and happy the whole time.
We made dinner and sat down to eat together. Shortly after that, Cliff came home, ending my first day of being by myself with two kids. Everybody was alive, so I celebrated with drinking a beer and taking a long shower.